Recently Len and I attended a program on fall prevention at the Powell House presented by Toba Robinson, director of therapy services for KC’s Home Health Care in Phoenix. My thanks to her for permission to share the following facts with readers of this column.
• In the United States, falls are the leading cause of serious and/or fatal injuries among people 65 years of age and older.
• One in three adults over the age of 65 fall each year; the incidence increases to 50 percent for those over the age of 80.
• 20 to 30 percent of adults age 65 and older suffer serious injury from falls, most commonly hip fractures and head injuries.
• Of those hospitalized for a hip fracture, 40 percent never return home or live independently again and 25 percent will die within one year.
• Most falls occur in the bathroom, bedroom, on stairs or in the kitchen.
The most common risk factors for falls in the home are oxygen tubing, presence of small pets, inadequate lighting, changes in floor surfaces, lack of handrails or narrow steps and step height, cluttered living areas and tripping hazards such as throw rugs, pet toys and electrical cords.
To prevent falls, you should make sure all living areas are well lit, use night lights, remove throw rugs and other tripping hazards, wipe up liquid spills, install grab bars and hand rails where needed, use a personal alarm pendant or bracelet. The Payson Police and Fire Departments offer a free Guardian Angel service for seniors who live alone installed through your existing telephone service. You wear a small pendant around your neck and if you fall, you push the button to activate the unit. It is programmed to call four numbers of people who know you. When they answer, they can push 0 and listen through a microphone if you need help. If they don’t hear anything, they will know you are hurt and will send aid. For more information, call (928) 474-5242 ext. 429 or 300.
Len and I have both experienced falls; once he fell when Q, our cat, ran between his feet as he was getting up from the kitchen counter, and I fell one time while planting something on uneven ground alongside our back yard fence. I was holding onto the fence for balance when the slat gave way and I went flying. We were both fortunate not to have serious injuries and we both are much more careful now.
Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store
The Alzheimer’s Support Group meets at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7 in the Center Dining Room at 514 W. Main St. The meeting is open to family members and caregivers of Alzheimer patients.
There will be open Medicare enrollment from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9 at the Center. For information, call (928) 474-4876.
Assistance with legal matters is available beginning at 9 a.m. at the Center Tuesday, Nov. 13. Advance appointments must be made in the Center Lobby or by calling the above number.
Larry Brasen performs live music in the Dining Room Tuesday, Nov. 13. The program is free and open to the public.
Zumba Gold classes have resumed at the Center. Stop in and pick up a schedule for Zumba and other events.
“How to Slow Down Parkinson’s Disease” is the topic to be discussed at 11 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 15. Debbie Tiffany will be the guest speaker.
The Senior Center will be closed Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 23 for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Senior Thrift Store will be closed Nov. 22, but open Nov. 23 and Nov. 24.
Volunteer of the month for November is Rowena Cole. Rowena does double duty, volunteering at the Senior Thrift Store as well as at the Center.
Pine/Strawberry Thrift Store
The holidays are just around the corner and the Pine/Strawberry Thrift Store at 3916 N. Highway 87 in downtown Pine has a large selection of dazzling holiday wear for both day and evening. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, but will be closed Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving. Call (928) 476-4633 for post-holiday hours.
Think about it: Some people eat from the three basic food groups: canned, frozen and take out.